Woman deemed 'too big' to model despite starving herself to a size zero finds success as a plus-size model

Nina Blakemore was criticised for being 'too big' by the modelling industry, but now has a glittering career as a plus-size model

A woman who was criticised for being "too big" to model after starving herself to a size zero now boasts a successful career as a plus-size model.

Nina Blakemore, now a plus-size model, once starved herself down to a size zero [Caters] Nina Blakemore, who is 5ft 10in tall and now a size 18, travels around the world modelling for plus-size brands.

But the 35-year-old from Wolverhampton, West Midlands has revealed that at her lowest ebb she ate just an apple a day, in a desperate attempt to starve herself down to a size zero.

And despite putting her body through hell, she was told she was still "too big" to make it in the modelling industry.

She said: "One modelling agency told me to lose weight as I was too big  - I literally had to starve myself to get anywhere near a size zero.
"I wanted to become a model so desperately that I knew that starving myself was the only option.
"I lived off an apple a day and would exercise vigorously."

The intense pressure on Nina's body led to serious health implications.

"My hair started falling out and I looked awful as my health started deteriorating," she admitted. "My mood swings were horrendous - I was so unhappy.

"My mum could see how skinny I'd become and she witnessed first-hand the effects an eating disorder were having on my body.
"We went to the doctors and from there I was referred to a therapist."

After a year-long battle with food, Nina started to regain her confidence and began eating properly again - allowing herself to gain weight.

And now she can say with confidence that she hasn't looked back - going back up to her natural shape and taking a career in plus-size modelling instead.

Nina Blakemore, 35, said at her lowest ebb survived on just an apple a day [Caters] Jetting around the world for her job, Nina said she was wants to prove you don't have to be size zero to model.
She said: "I'm just trying to show people that you don't need to be size zero to be a model.
"I'm now a size 18 and use my time to help others who suffer from anorexia to face their battles with food.
"I eat healthy food and exercise in moderation - I no longer restrict myself and eat foods I enjoy."
Nina is currently signed with Hughes Models, who promote curvy women.
Cheryl Hughes, Hughes Models' director, said: "Our Models are healthy, fit, beautifully proportioned and have that magic something in front of the camera - what more could society need for realistic role models.
"For me they prove that every woman can be healthy, fit and attractive irrespective of size. However, health and fitness are paramount. An unfit size zero is as unacceptable as an unfit 14, 16, 18 etc.
"We would encourage all women to love their bodies and give their bodies the care and attention we lavish on anything or anybody we love."

Nina explained that she's not promoting obesity, but instead encouraging women to be happy whatever size they are.

She said: "Women shouldn't feel forced to be thin - we should just be happy with our natural size.
"I'm embracing who I am and I have no time for any negativity surrounding plus size models."